super kiwi

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I'm a pre-med student conteplating being a Physician Assistant because of the long shifts of residency. Answering these two questions would help.



How do residency hours compare between allopathic and osteopathic?

Do they both have 36 hour shifts?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Thanks :)
 

EctopicFetus

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Kiwi,

This totally depends on what field you choose. For example, EM when you are on service you will work like 14-18 shifts per month. Which is really not much. Usually 8-no more than 12 hour shifts.

If you do surgery then the hours will be longer.
Also, I dont know the answer but my guess is that the DO's and MDs work similar hours in residency, of course many DOs pursue the allopathic residency spots.

In the end if free time matters you should look into fields that are more family friendly. Also, it would really help if you could live near where you work.

Being a PA is a good job but remember you will never work totally independently. You need to have a doctor supervise you. So when making this decision you need to decide if you want to be the head honcho or if you are willing to take orders.
 

klubguts

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I don't know much about the relative hours worked by MD vs. DO residents, but i imagine they are similar. The mandated 80hr work week also requires a maximum of 30 continuous hours, so in theory nobody works 36 hour shifts anymore. How many hours you work/week during residency depends upon your choosen field and program, so there is no one answer to this question. There are many things to consider when choosing PA. vs. MD/DO including autonomy, life outside the hospital, career goals, etc...Hopefully you can recognize your priorities and make the right choice for you. Best of luck.
 

joaquin13

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there are a lot of things to think about with this decision, but to be honest, it seems that if you are already worried about how much time residency will take, you might have already made your decision. I honestly never considered how much time medical school/residency would take, I wanted to be a doctor so badly. I knew I would have to work hard, but thats what medical school/residency is. However, now that I am finishing medical school, I am burned out. Medical school itself is extremely time-consuming, and residency from what I have seen, is as well. No matter what specialty you choose, there is still call on SOME rotations. You should really be thinking now about how much you want to be a doctor, not how much time it will take. Just my opinion, just trying to be honest!!!! Please don't take offense.
 

peptidoglycan

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I agree with other responding posters and I want to add that you shouldn't forget what your life will be like AFTER residency. With the 80 hour workweek, many practicing private physicians work even more hours than residents.
 

surg4me

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Med school and residency will take a lot of your time. However, unlike the previous post, I have yet to meet a single physician (family practice, pediatrician, general surgeon, radiologist, or EM) who works more than 80 hr/wk in private practice. On the other hand, those in academics (which most med students are used to seeing and are biased toward) tend to work slightlly less than residents/wk or slightly more depending on the field that they are in...and they make less $, in general, compared to those in private practice...this is because many spend less time operating or seeing private patients due to academic requirements. As an attending (after residency), you have a lot of options on how your practice is set up (purely private, partly private-academic, full academic). You can pretty much make your own hours, especially if you work in a decent sized group, as most do...although working only 40-50 hours for any physician would be on the low side, while those working > 80-90/wk are on the extreme, even if they are surgeons. Make sure you get a broad perspective, as med students are biased to the academic physicians.
 

HowUdoin

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I agree with the others. My sister is in the same situation. The advice I offered her was to ask yourself, what type of person am I? Are you the type that likes to take control/be independent or are you a person that doesn't need to make all the decisions. Or you could go into PM&R, my friends tell me it is peace, money, and relaxtion. :D
 

coop27

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There were a couple of false facts in the previous posts:

Even with the "80 hour/30 hours straight rule" I have worked plenty of weeks over 100 and it isn't that uncommon to work more than 30 straight. There are a lot of residents who bitch when they start creeping toward 77-79 hrs but this is ridiculous. If there is stuff to do you just stay until its done. If i stayed up all night admitting a patient for surgery the next day, generally they will have to kick me out or I am going to stay and do the surgery.
As for safety of patients, this is mostly a bunk argument. I have seen many more errors take place in the last couple of years due to the extreme amount of info that must be transferred and signed out multiple times every day - some critical - certainly more than I ever saw when people were "more tired."

I also disagree with practicing physicians not working more than residents. I know plenty of them who do, not counting the fact that many carry their pager 24x7 or all of the non-clinical things (running a business, research, etc).